Recordings and reading material from this conference supported by UNESCO, focusing on preserving the past for the future, are available online.

Amongst the vast amount of online content available in the past year, the virtual conference, Heritage and our Sustainable Future, hosted by Praxis (University of Leeds) and the UK National Commission for UNESCO, stood out from the crowd and was well attended.

The conference was based on the recognition of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that unite 193 governments with the shared aim of leaving our planet and societies on a more sustainable footing for future generations. It brought together professionals and practitioners from different countries, sectors and disciplines to share case studies and methodologies through presentations, workshops, panel debates and conversations.

The programme was split into thirteen sessions, many of which were relevant to our heritage interpretation profession, including topics such as:

  • Biocultural heritage and landscapes: Linking nature and culture;
  • Cultural heritage for climate action;
  • Reducing inequalities: People-centres approaches;
  • Decolonising heritage practices;
  • Inclusive development for sustainable cities;
  • Creative industries and tourism beyond economic development; and
  • Heritage, mental health and wellbeing.

If you missed it, the good news is that the recordings of the sessions are available on the website here:

A reading list of useful resources is also included on this page:

One of the interesting features of the conference was a live illustrator working to sum up key points during the final closing session. You can see some of the results of that here: It’s an amazingly quick-thinking, organised, artistic brain that can manage to interpret and visualise these points so neatly during a live session!

Marie Banks is IE’s News Coordinator. When not volunteering for IE, she runs her own interpretation and proofreading business, She can be contacted at:

To cite this article: Banks, Marie (2021) ‘Heritage and our sustainable future’. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 1-2021, 31.

Available online: